Russia

More than 100 amendments proposed to draft Chechen Constitution

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The Constitutional Assembly created last December has received more than 100 proposed changes to the draft Chechen constitution, Chechen deputy administration head Tauz Dzhabrailov told journalists in Grozny on 26 February, Interfax reported. He said the assembly will consider the merits of those proposals "in the near future" and approve a final draft. The referendum is scheduled for 23 March, and Dzhabrailov predicted that at least 76 percent of registered voters will participate. He also disclosed that several members of Chechnya's election commission have resigned after receiving unspecified threats. LF
CHECHEN PARLIAMENT CHAIRMAN CONDEMNS PLANNED REFERENDUM

In a 26 February statement posted the following day by chechenpress.com, Akhyad Idigov, who is chairman of the Chechen parliament elected in 1997, condemned the planned constitutional referendum, which he said will not contribute to resolving the problems of relations between Moscow and Chechnya or to a peaceful solution of the conflict. Idigov noted that Chechnya adopted a constitution in 1992 and that OSCE observers affirmed the legality of the 1997 presidential and parliamentary elections in Chechnya. Idigov further pointed out that in October 2000, the Chechen parliament extended the authority of the parliament and president until Chechnya is "liberated" from Russian occupation. LF

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